Domestic abuse in Hillingdon expected to rise over Christmas

Like many other London boroughs, a significant increase in reports of domestic abuse is expected over the festive period in Hillingdon.

In 2016, reports of domestic abuse increased by 85 per cent in the period from 23 December to 2 January, with a similar pattern recorded over the previous five years - writes hillingdon.gov.uk.

The rise in domestic abuse over the festive period can be caused by increased family tensions, financial pressures and an increase in the use of alcohol and drugs.

Hillingdon Council works together with the police and domestic violence agencies, as part of the Safer Hillingdon Partnership, to raise awareness of domestic violence and encourage victims and their families to report abuse.

Councillor Philip Corthorne, Cabinet Member for Social Services, Health and Housing, said: "While Christmas is a time of joy for so many Hillingdon families, it is also a time of financial stress and emotional tension for a number of people. We work closely with domestic violence partners and agencies to support for victims of abuse all year round, to safeguard the wellbeing of residents in the borough. If you think that you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, we will listen to you and support you without judgement."

Dionne,* aged 22 from Hillingdon, was a victim of domestic abuse. She said: "On one occasion, he threw me across the room and started punching and kicking me. He tried to stab me and I was so scared. Even though I was scared to leave, there were always people who were willing to help me. The Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy in Hillingdon provided me with safety measures and a way out. Now, I am ready to move forward with my life."

From April 2016 to March 2017, 4,756 domestic incidents were reported in Hillingdon, but the true figure is likely to be higher as many incidents go unreported to the police.

Colin Wingrove, Borough Commander, said: "If you are in an abusive relationship, or know of someone who is, please do not remain silent. Tackling domestic abuse remains a police priority and we work alongside charities and other agencies to help and support both those in abusive relationships and those affected by it, namely children. We have worked hard, along with Hillingdon Council, to improve the services available to victims of domestic abuse and would urge anyone affected not to suffer in silence, we are here to help."

To seek help, call Hillingdon Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy for professional advice and support on 020 8246 1745. The domestic violence helpline (0808 2000 247) is a 24-hour confidential helpline where you can talk anonymously. To report the abuse to the police, call 101 and always dial 999 if it's an emergency or you are in immediate danger.

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